This harvest salad recipe has flavorful chicken breast tossed in a bed of hearty kale, creamy pumpkin, and honey crisp apples with a nut-and-cheese topping, perfect on a breezy autumn day.
Is Harvest Salad Healthy?
Yes, loaded with nutrients, this harvest salad is a healthy choice. Here are a few reasons why:
First, we have amazingly healthy kale and pumpkin for a boost of vitamins. These two superfoods are known to be excellent sources of vitamin A and vitamin C.
Did you know that a single cup of kale contains more than 100% of your daily recommended value for vitamin C? Moreover, a cup of cooked pumpkin provides more than 200% of your recommended daily vitamin A intake.
Not just vegetables, we also add skinless boneless chicken breast to add a lean source of protein and to make you feel more satiated.
Ingredients for Harvest Salad
1. For the Salad
Kale: We use fresh raw kale for the leafy greens in our salad, giving it a nice earthy hint. If you prefer your kale to be softer and less bitter, you can give it a gentle massage with lemon juice or olive oil.
Pumpkin: This well-loved autumn ingredient is perfect for our harvest salad. Soft, bright chunks of cooked pumpkin add extra sweetness and creaminess to the dish.
Apple: Red apples are sweet, juicy, and crispy. A few slices simply brighten everything up. Remember to cut them right before serving so that the color won’t darken due to oxidation.
2. For the Chicken
Chicken breast: Moist and savory chicken breast makes our salad even more palatable and fulfilling.
Seasoning: We use a mixture of olive oil, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper to marinate the chicken and give it more flavor.
3. For the Dressing
Olive oil: We use cold-pressed, Extra Virgin olive oil.
Balsamic: Balsamic vinegar has a mildly sweet and tart taste, perfect for making salad dressing.
Mustard: The pungent, slightly spicy taste of mustard gives a kick to the overall flavor.
Pepper: A dash of pepper adds extra flavor.
Honey: The natural sweetness of honey helps balance out the stronger ingredients in our dressing.
4. For the Topping
Pecans: The nutty and buttery taste of pecans and their crunchy texture make a great addition to our salad.
Dried cranberries: Sweet-tart and chewy, dried cranberries are fun to have in a salad mix.
Feta cheese: Feta cheese has a nice briny taste with a lemony aftertaste, making it an all-time favorite salad topping.
Parsley: The bright aroma of parsley nicely complements our salad.
How to Serve Harvest Salad
This warm and sweet harvest salad is perfect for autumn but can be served all year-round as a side dish, a healthy snack, or a light lunch.
We recommend a hot bowl of soup or a delicious plate of pasta as an awesome choice of accompaniment for this dish.
And if Thanksgiving is around the corner, this joyful harvest salad will be a perfect fit for your menu.
How to Store the Leftovers
A bowl of salad is at its best when served fresh and eaten right away because the greens can only stay good for so long.
That’s why we would recommend making just enough portions of your salad as needed and finishing it as soon as possible.
Still, if you have some leftovers, you can put them in an air-tight container and keep them in a fridge for up to a day if already dressed.
If not dressed, then you can keep both the salad and the dressing separately in the fridge, where they should stay fresh for up to 2 days.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Natalie Butler is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a passion to help others live their best life through food, fitness, safer beauty and a healthy lifestyle. She has expertise with a variety of diets and diseases and believes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for health.